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  • Realising the value: Understanding open and value-added spatial data

    Suite B (Ground Floor) 7-11 Barry Drive Turner ACT 2612 Australia

    T 61 2 6281 9400 E info@aiia.com.au W www.aiia.com.au

  • 2

    The good news is… 3

    The great news is… 4

    A roadmap for ‘…a strategic national resource’ 5

    What do you get when location data is made available as open data? 6

    What are the challenges of using raw foundation spatial data? 8

    The value derived from greater use of location data 9

    The value of business-ready datasets 10

    Next steps 11

    Internet of Things Summit Communiqué 12

    @ Australian Information Industry Association

    This discussion paper has been produced by the AIIA Geospatial Special Interest Group. This group advocates the analysis of government and business data in a geospatial context.

    For more information, contact: Daniel Austin-Appleton, Policy Analyst & Advocacy Co-ordinator T 02 6281 9403 | M 0423 702 977 | E d.appleton@aiia.com.au

    Contents

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    The Internet of Things (IoT) is gathering pace with an ever-increasing array of interconnected sensors and devices in operation. Globally, the number of ‘things’ today that are connected to the internet has been put at some 25 billion and is set to double by 2020.1 A recent estimate of 2.3 trillion gigabytes of data a day.2 The volume of digital data is expected to multiply by 40 times or more by 2020.3

    Tapping into this data opens up the prospect of incredible new business opportunities and better service delivery as well as driving efficiency, productivity, innovation and growth.

    There is much discussion of the challenges associated with big data. The term itself is an attempt to describe how the sheer size of the data (the 3 Vs of Velocity, Variety and Volume) becomes part of the issue of using the data. More recently, analysts have applied a fourth V to describe another issue that arises with big data; Veracity. Is the data reliable enough to base decisions on? Can you trust and put confidence in the data? Can you make investments or prioritise resources based on the information?4

    This is where spatial data comes to the fore. Within the world of big data, spatial information is a relatively small subset by volume. But it can play an incredibly important role.

    The good news is… Place and location data has been likened to connective tissue: data that is essential to a well-functioning digital world.5 A key way to achieve veracity is to anchor information using location points that you have a high degree of confidence in to provide the means for finding these correlations.

    Incorporating location data with other forms of data opens the door to a vast array of opportunities, enhanced products and services and options that don’t even exist yet. Once data has a location − usually a longitude/latitude value − it can be mapped and linked to realise the value of an endless array of data: socio- economic, health, environmental, customer, sales and more.

    “… the explosion in the sheer volume of information coupled with the similarly explosive growth in processing power has meant that the need to find a scrupulously accurate sample (the world of small data) has been overtaken by the availability of all of the data—much of it messy but in such volumes that new correlations can be found.” Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull opening the 2014 AIIA Navigating Analytics Summit in his former role as the Minister for Communications.6

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    The great news is… As the governments of Australia make substantial inroads in opening access to their data holdings, more and more location data is being publicly released.

    By enabling the public to access this raw data, governments are seeking to drive economic growth, facilitate more inclusive citizen engagement in improving public services, increase transparency and accountability and improve the efficiency and operations of public services themselves.7

    Governments have long recognised the valuable role of spatial data as an enabler. As the World Bank says: “…it is also apparent that the value is not in the data by itself. It is the combination of the data with one or more other factors such as an innovative idea, the inadequacy of existing services, the availability of new techniques to process data (such as “big data analytics” methods) or new technologies for the delivery of services, including the use of smartphones or even the “internet of things” (for instance in-car navigation systems).”8

    States and territories have been steadily making their raw foundation spatial datasets available. In December 2015, the Australian Government announced the National Innovation and Science Agenda. This comprised an extensive range of initiatives to support new ideas in innovation and science, and harness new sources of growth to deliver the next age of economic prosperity in Australia.

    “Spatial data, in particular, is becoming increasingly important to the economy given the rapid take- up and use of mobile devices in Australia.” Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on the National Innovation and Science Agenda.9

    In 2015, the Australian Government launched Open Data 500, a collaboration with The GovLab at New York University.

    The study aims to help guide the government in its efforts to add further datasets to its data.gov.au open data portal. The initial results of the study were released in August 2015 based on 64 organisations responding to the Open Data 500 study.10

    The study found that geospatial data was the most popular kind of government data employed by participants. Sixty per cent of participants indicated they were using government geospatial datasets. Forty-two per cent also used positioning/GPS data.

    The results showed that many of the Australian businesses and not-for-profit organisations are employing open data to create new or improved products and services.

    Sixty five per cent indicated they were using open data to create new or improved products and services, 55 per cent to generate cost efficiencies, and 51 per cent to identify new opportunities.

    To participate in the study: www.opendata500.com/au

    Demand for spatial data confirmed The Agenda strongly links innovation with the publishing and sharing of public data. Its measures include making two high-value and nationally significant spatial datasets openly available. The Geocoded National Address File (G-NAF) and Administrative Boundaries datasets will be published under an open data licence at no cost to end users on data.gov.au in February 2016.

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    A roadmap for ‘…a strategic national resource’

    Recommendations: Public sector data roadmap

    “The data held by the Australian Government is a strategic national resource that holds considerable value for growing the economy, improving service delivery and transforming policy outcomes for the Nation.” Australian Government Public Data Policy Statement11

    The Public Sector Data Management Project was initiated by the Secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) in April 2015 to examine the Australian Public Service’s use and management of data. The project’s report presents this roadmap from mid-2015 for transforming the use of public data, both in the short and longer-term.12

    1-6 Months: Build confidence and momentum

    1. Secretary of PM&C signals data is a priority by promoting the agenda across the APS

    2. Commission several high value projects focused on key policy questions, proving the value of public sector data and removing barriers

    3. Build external partnerships to foster demand and encourage the use of public sector data

    4. Agencies publish readily available datasets on or through data.gov.au, and schedule future releases

    5. Build data and analytics capability by bolstering existing efforts, partnering externally and investing in pockets of excellence

    6. PM&C coordinates progress on demonstration projects, develops APS data policies and takes steps to rationalise governance arrangements through a cross-agency team (see recommendations 7-8)

    1-18 Months: Systematise the use and release of public sector data 7. Implement a data policy and governance

    framework that includes: • a public policy statement that could be

    delivered by the PM outlining the narrative and high-level principles

    • a simple governance model for data policy that incentivises and drives consistent transformation through clear ownership, links to exteral groups, a high level steering group, partnerships with the private sector and data champions within agencies

    • a requirement for evidence-based policy development to motivate data use in policy

    8. Build and maintain trust, engage with the public to understand the benefits to citizens and address privacy concerns on public sector data

    9. Establish a trusted-access model for sharing integrated data across agencies

    10. Create and publish a searchable whole-of- government data catalogue to make government data holdings discoverable

    11. Develop a Commonwealth Government high-value dataset framework to inform prioritisation and release

    12. Publish data management standards to simplify the processes of integrating data and publishing on data.gov.au

    13. Establish a consistent and transparent approach to